Even the most starry-eyed brides and grooms can get the pre-wedding jitters. But when are those feelings just nerves and when are they a giant red flag? Try these steps to sort out your feelings.
Write Down your Fears
Just by expressing your concerns on paper, you’ll likely feel better. This exercise will also help you determine which of your fears have to do with the wedding and which are in regard to the actual marriage. Come up with possible solutions for your biggest worries. For instance, if you’re afraid that you won’t get to spend as much time with your buddies, then consider instituting a weekly friend night so that you and your wife can each do your own thing.
Make a Pro-Con List
While you’re journaling, write down the benefits and drawbacks of being married. For instance, you’ll have a lifetime of unconditional love, support and companionship. On the downside, your fiancé snores and you hate attending his work functions. Are you nitpicking? Do the benefits of matrimony outweigh the drawbacks? You decide.
Talk to Someone
If possible, share your concerns with your partner. He may be experiencing a bout of cold feet himself. You two can let out a collective sigh or, if necessary, begin hashing out your legitimate concerns. Afraid he’ll expect you to become a stay-at-home mom once you have children, but you’d rather keep your job? Together, you can negotiate a plan that you can both live with. If, however, you’re not comfortable sharing your doubts with your fiancé, then vent to a friend and ask yourself why you feel you can’t tell your fiancé everything. Also talk to happily married couples to learn about the challenges and good times that lie ahead.
Get Couples’ Counseling
If your religion doesn’t require premarital counseling, consider enrolling, anyway. Your clergyperson or a secular marriage therapist can address common premarital issues and give you a safe place to bring up other concerns. If your partner refuses to go, then opt for individual counseling and evaluate how much of a team player your future spouse really is. Go on a date, reserving one night a week to not talk about the wedding. Instead, play a board game together, catch a movie or just hang out at a bookstore over coffee. This downtime will help you to reconnect as a couple and rediscover why you got engaged in the first place. After all, dating is what led to the engagement.
No matter how busy your schedule gets, pencil in time for exercise and a good night’s sleep. Also eat properly, drink enough water and consider taking a daily vitamin if you don’t already. These healthy habits will allow you to think clearly and may keep you from snapping at your fiancé.
Go through photo albums, old journal entries and boxes of keepsakes from your relationship. Revisiting the happy moments – your first date, a trip you took together, the first time you said “I love you,” the proposal – should help rekindle some of the gushy feelings you once had or perhaps show you that the negative feelings have passed.
Write a Love Letter
Pen some sweet nothings about your betrothed, to be delivered to him on your wedding day. If you can’t come up with anything nice to say, then it’s time to evaluate your true motives for wanting a wedding. Unfortunately, talking, journaling and reminiscing can’t solve everything. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons to postpone or call off a wedding.
Despite the potential embarrassment and wasted expenses, you’re better off staying true to yourself. If you or your fiancé is dealing with any of the following, then you should strongly consider calling off the ceremony:
• Physical or verbal abuse
• Drug, alcohol or gambling addiction
• Differences in option regarding core values or whether to have children
It’s normal to get cold feet. By addressing your concerns before your wedding day, you can strengthen your bond as a couple and walk down the aisle with confidence.